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Reviewed by - Matt Rowe

Get Yer Boots On
The Best of Slade
Released: March 23, 2004
Origination Year: 2004
Time: 60:38
Tracks: 16
Produced by: Dan Epstein
Style: Studio / Compilation
Format: CD
Enhancement: None

Some of you will be wondering just who the hell Slade is. Or more to the point, just who they were. Ironically, many of you have heard them done by other bands. They've been covered by Oasis in the 90s, Quiet Riot jump-started their own career thanks in large part to 2 of Slade's songs (Cum on Feel The Noize and Mama Weer All Crazee Now), and a raucous cover by the 70s all-girl phenomenon that yielded Lita Ford and Joan Jett, The Runaways.

Interestingly, none of these covers did any justice to the actual releases by the original band, Slade. Slade was quite a success in their own country, England, to the point of having multiple #1 singles, several debuting in that position. Their success in the US was never extraordinary but they were known and enjoyed.

Slade created many songs of which 17 of them were TOP 20 in the UK. Not many bands can boast this feat which indicates the power and allure of this band of quirky English boyz (the spelling of boys as boyz is intended here. The band's trademark output was largely comprised of deliberately misspelled titles.) One look at the band and you quickly come to realize that Slade's appearance was outlandish and well..a tad 'out there'. Rock and Roll.

This Shout! Factory compilation takes 16 songs that were large hits for the band during their most productive years. Begun in 1970, Slade quickly sprung their kinetic brand of rock onto an audience that immediately accepted the 'stomp yer hands and clap yer feet' mentality. Their first single, "Get Down and Get With It" was a thunder- added cover of a Little Richard song and it worked well. Followed by "Coz I Luv You" and "Look Wot You Dun" just months later, Slade became deeply cemented into the incoming Glam movement that heralded and nurtured such acts as T. Rex and David Bowie but with their own twist.

This compilation feels its way throughout the entire career of the band. It does so with a knowing and thusly sets itself as the definitive primer to the band known as Slade. In the US, "Gudbuy T' Jane" began to take off and elevate the band's excellent Polydor release, Slayed, to lofty heights. This was accentuated by a taped appearance on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert which unveiled Slade to a savvy rock crowd. They whirlwinded through the US on a fairly successful tour but never achieved the success enjoyed in Europe. Bummer, cuz they were great.

Slade was a mix of every style that you can imagine. They merged jazz ("How Does It Feel"); blues rock ("Gudbuy T' Jane"); punk (before it was punk - believe it. "Get Down and Get With It"); and hard paced rock with a number of their other songs. Get Yer Boots On celebrates this band's contribution to the annals of Rock by stitching a better collection than their last official 'best of' by Warner called Sladest with its skyblue backdrop and the 'we're rock stars' pose. And that was too many years ago.

With Shout! Factory's love of the great forgotten milieu of the frontline soldiers that enlarged the borders of the kingdom of Rock, music fans from the yesteryears of real rock can be gifted with quality releases that mean something. Fans of Slade will be pleased immensely with this sturdy issue while 80s fans that only remember Quiet Riot's renditions (and thought they created those songs, tsk, tsk!) can discover the 'real deal'. Additionally, today's teens love of their father's records and who are revitalizing the music scene, making it a tasteful thing once again, will identify and recognize the quality and of Slade. Another bent to this collection is its revealing look into a band that helped to shape the decades that came after their demise.

Get Yer Boots On contains a well assembled 12-page booklet complete with period photos and a paragraph for each single on this set making this album a collector issue for the music fan. The CD even has a cool stamp of the band embedded on the surface.

For the true Slade fan, Shout! Factory also issued a DVD of the film produced by the band during the height of their fame called Slade in Flame. This film details the assembly and spiral of a rock band and their dealings with self-serving record industry types. While fictional, the movie sliced actual experiences from the band and expressed their own feelings about life and pressure as a popular band. This DVD also contains a very energetic and insightful interview with the band's expressive lead singer, Noddy Holder. The 40+ minutes dedicated to Holder's remembrances of the film and the experiences that led to the making of the film is fun to watch, almost as much as the actual film. So the bonus of the interview doubles the reason for snagging the DVD. When it falls out of print, fans who didn't snatch a copy will be saddened.

Don't hesitate. Either of these releases are great. But if it's a choice, go for the CD. It rocks! Cum On Feel The Noize!!

Track Listing:

Get Down and Get With It / Coz I Luv You / Look Wot You Dun / Take Me Back 'ome / Mama Weer All Crazee Now / Gudbuy T' Jane / Cum On Feel The Noize / Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me / My Friend Stan / Merry XMas Everybody/ Everyday / Bangin' Man / Far Far Away / How Does It Feel / Run Runaway / My Oh My.

Slade: Noddy Holder - Vocals / Guitar; Dave Hill - Guitar; Jimmy Lea - Bass; Don Powell - Drums.

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